From Our Minister

Dedicated to educating our fellow members and greater community about how to help our Earth be healthier by living greener and healthier lives.

Mar 2018

Achieving Balance in Life and in Resources

Dear Friends,

There’s a story of an international businessman on holiday in Mexico, where a fisherman was on his boat with a great many fish.

“How long did it take to catch that many fish?” he asked.

“Not long,” was the reply.

“Why didn’t you stay out longer?” asked the businessman.

“Because this is enough for me and my family,” explained the fisherman.

“So what do you do with the rest of your time?”

“I sleep late, play with my children, take a siesta, and talk to my wife. In the evening, I go to town and visit friends. I play the guitar and sing songs. I have a full life.”

“Well, I have an MBA from Harvard,” explained the businessman. “I can help. You should spend more time fishing. Catch more fish. You can sell the extra fish, make more money, and buy a bigger boat.”


“The money from the bigger boat will buy two or three additional boats. Instead of selling fish to a middle man, you sell directly to processing plants. Then, open your own plant. Then you could live in Mexico City or New York! When the business gets really big, you sell stock and make millions!”

“Wow, millions?!? What happens after that?” asked the fisherman.

“After that you’ll be able to retire on the coast, sleep in, play with your grandkids, take a siesta, and talk to your wife. In the evenings you’ll go to town and play and sing with your friends.”

Friends, I use this story as a way to introduce balance – our theme of the month. And I hope it highlights the irony of giving up presence for profit.

But I also want to challenge us to think about things beyond our personal inventory. I’m talking about how things hang in the balance of our culture and in our national/global society. Specifically, things like love, liberty, safety and justice.

Would you consider the distribution of these resources to be balanced among people? Are they significantly lacking in some communities and stockpiled in others? Might our fisherman choose to work harder if it reduced the suffering in some other family? In some other village?

When we look out at the greatest challenges in the world today I worry greatly about the imbalance between the rich and poor, the haves and have-nots, peoples of different races and different cultures. Between one gender and another – and those courageously moving beyond gender binaries altogether.

One of the key conversations I hope our country begins to move toward – and that we, in this community, begin to initiate – are balancing a variety of resources — like privilege, power, protection, decision-making authority, representation, and responsibility.

By far, one of the biggest conversations I hope we enter into is the balance of self interest vs. human interest. The balance of those holding love and those holding fear. I believe our world needs such conversations.

I believe UUSM is ready to begin them.

To the Glory of Life.

The Rev. Greg Ward